I’m very glad that most of this entry has been written already, as it’s adapted from the entry I planned for All Souls Day on the 2nd; my ability to think has been reasonably compromised by this piece of news (granted, it’ll be added onto as I process this more).
Mother sent an email just now. At the start, it was the usual “dearest Ana” saccharine nonsense, and I’m-being-harmless updates about the family. My older brother, she says is most likely going to be going out of state for work, making this potentially the last Thanksgiving in a while that the family could be together…if I come over, that is; otherwise there’s an obviously empty space on the family table (really could feel the knife twisting in my back on that one).
Then she adds that my paternal aunt had told on me to her how I spent Thanksgiving with them (my paternal aunt’s family), warning me not to because my uncle’s family might be there this year. She was sure to say how close my two paternal aunts are right now, and even though she’s doing this to isolate me, I completely believe her; in the presence of the last detective, my older aunt talked on and on about my younger aunt and uncle (yes, again, that uncle) were doing wonderfully and whatever.
So, that was all a downer to a small degree, feeling that chain tug at my heart with mother trying to trap me like this…but then she drops this bombshell on me:
My father took the polygraph test, and passed.
She doesn’t say why he took it. I remember writing on the list of what they would have to do to do right by me enough for reconciliation to happen that my father do a polygraph; maybe that’s why, since apparently, according to my older aunt, my father is “dying” from not having contact with me.
I know it’s possible to pass a polygraph, regardless of honesty. I’ve heard the cases. One horrible case was when a child rapist, despite the victim’s testimony and the really just damning physical evidence, passed the polygraph. I know it can be done (quite easily) and how. I also know, as I have said consistently here and to the police, that I have reason to believe my father had drunk himself stupid, therefore having less chance of remembering what he (physically) did. He could’ve also, perhaps, repressed the memory. He often would have cases where he wouldn’t remember when he did something wrong.
So…it looks like it’s all over.
My case could very likely go colder than it already is. My abusers, all of them, will not be held accountable for what they did (in this life). They’re being protected…and I’m not. I’m the liar. I’m the rotten girl from To Kill A Mockingbird who falsified a rape report to ruin someone. I’m the hateful daughter who brings heartbreak and disgrace to her loving family. From where I stand, there doesn’t seem to be much hope to be found on this front.
In spite of how I feel, I did forward mother’s email to my counselor, my mentor-friend, and the head of one of the victim services who helped me. I told my confessor, and I’m telling you, my readers. This might happen to you, and it’s moments like this that we have to remember to hope when we haven’t any hope.
…It’s hard to turn away from just how devastated I feel about her entire message. It’s revictimizing. I feel like the life has been drained out of me. I went from thanking God in tears for my life to this. It feels like evil wins.
Soon, I felt angry at the police for failing me like this, at God for allowing this, and my parents/family for doing this to me. I’m also sad, and confused; that psychological exam said I try to be more virtuous than I am, so I wonder if somehow I did this to myself or deserve it or something…
I can imagine what my confessor would say. He told me once that only I can say what happened or not. He has a point…and I still stand by all I said because it’s truthful. The memories and the wounds are all there. Despite what my parents say about “planted memories” or whatever, it was all there, if hidden/repressed, years before I even stepped into a counselor’s office.
Even though I’m being called the liar and disgrace, I can’t lie, could never lie about something like this. That’s one of the worst things I could imagine anyone doing. Besides, I have the worst poker face in the world. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I can’t fake my way out of anything. How could I be lying?
In any case…as far as I’m concerned, this was another large nail slammed in the coffin on my hopes of my parents turning around and becoming parents to me. I get the sense that they, my mother, think all this was supposed to do the opposite effect, that I would be more inclined to go back to them. That couldn’t be further from the truth, even though I know it makes me look like the bad guy. Most of that email tastes of emotional blackmail. I for one, don’t want to have any more of that in my life.
My doctor eloquently said on the subject, replying to an email I sent of how I felt about this, “I don’t understand why such a thing [my father’s polygraph] had to be added to an email. I don’t think that a family exchange about a future gathering is the place for such a statement. It is a bit of a jab, if not an upper cut, at a time when your guard should be down.”
…I have to hold onto something else my doctor said, more than ever. He’d say (often in regards to my father) how God charges certain people to provide us with certain things, and when those people fail to provide that which God charged them, God simply gives another person (or people) that role instead.
When I first heard it, it made me think about a lot of things. Among those things are the people in my life who heals a particular harm done to me by someone in a similar role as him/her, like how my confessor heals harms done by priests, and also, in his spiritual fatherhood, my father.
I thought of my mentor-friend and my doctor, how they heal the harm done by my paternal grandparents (who were respectively very cold and enabling). I thought of my new friend, how he heals me of the romantic abuse (emotional incest) my father committed against me, as well as some embarrassing cases with guys online who emotionally took advantage of me, and of course, all those who sexually abused me.
I thought of all the saints and other souls of people who played that healing role in my life, like the priest who recently died, or my maternal great-grandparents, neither of which I got to meet in this life.
One saint I wanted to give attention to in particular was St. Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus’ surrogate father. Among the things he is a patron saint of (finding a home/job, carpentry, fatherhood in every respect men could be a father to someone, etc.), it’s probably not as well known that he’s a patron saint of having a good death one day. He’s one I remembered for All Souls’ Day, praying for his intercession that we, and the people who’ve gone before us, have a good death.
I think that’s something all of us wants. What that looks like for each of us varies, of course, and some of us feel less comfortable with that line of thought than others. All the same, I think that’s something we all hope for, even if the afterlife is not something we give much thought, or even believe to be a reality.
I could use a reminder of his paternal providence in any case. Remembering how he and Mary (and of course, God) adopted me usually eases the hurt done by the ones who were supposed to be my family.
There’s actually not a lot said about St. Joseph apart from his marriage to Mary, escorting her to Bethlehem, taking his family to Egypt (irony of ironies, considering the whole mass-slavery thing in Exodus) to escape Herod’s order to kill all boys under 2 years old (even more ironic). He presented Jesus to Simeon with Mary soon after, and found him together with Mary when Jesus was 12, teaching the elders in the temple. He was never recorded to say anything, and that’s about all that’s written of him.*
A/N: As a little fun fact, I personally have a theory that he has a friendship with St. Raphael, as he got an unnamed angel’s advice when confused about marrying Mary while she was pregnant (more for her sake than for himself, mind), and to take his family to safety in light of Herod; given what St. Raphael is patron of, it wouldn’t surprise me if either/both of those angels were in fact him.
He’s generally understood as a quiet man, one that’s faithful and honorable. He made a modest wage as a carpenter, but still made sure his wife and son were taken care of, teaching Jesus his craft so He can take care of Mary after he’s gone. He also was aware of his wife’s consecrating her virginity, so like with St. Cecilia and her husband, in marrying her, he became a consecrated virgin, too. I also think of him as a simple sort, maybe akin to Samwise Gamgee.
I don’t know if it’s written anywhere what exactly made him pass away before Mary and Jesus. It’s popular to believe he was an older man that married Mary, a younger girl who lost her parents, to make sure she’s taken care of (and because no way a young man could marry a girl and be celibate alongside with her, right?). It’s more realistic, though, that he was a young man, a teenager like Mary. That makes his death all the more mysterious, but either way, he sounds like someone I’d like to know.
Now… my father had an at least outward devotion to St. Joseph. He had all the prayer cards, the books, the statues, and icons, not unlike my mother’s (at least outward) devotion to Mary. I mentioned how I grew up surrounded by seemingly cold and uncaring holy images all my life; those of Mary and Joseph were probably the most present, apart from the many crucifixes, of course (and I can’t tell you how messed up it felt to know that I always had a crucifix over my bed, given the abuses that happened on it).
So, between him and my mother praying for their help so often, I didn’t give either Mary or St. Joseph much thought or prayer, certainly not from the heart. The memories of mother’s rosaries and what not to Mary, and the St. Joseph devotions they had us all do when looking for that next house-of-the-year…. it brings to mind a lot of anxiety and hurt.
I don’t remember if I talked about how I came to look up to Mary as a mother already in my past Marian entries, but it’s not too different from how I came to look up to St. Joseph as a father. I prayed to both of them in particular those last few years with my parents. As I started to get over that disloyalty bond I was groomed to have with my parents, I felt less guilty and more encouraged to pray to them for parental care. Mary didn’t disappoint, and neither did St. Joseph.
One of the prayers I often pray to God is for Him to make it obvious enough for me to see Him at work in my life. He certainly did so when it came to whenever I’d pray for St. Joseph around his feast days (March 19, May 1, and All Saints’ Day).
The first time it happened was when I was given a month to find a job; after a very frustrating and painful month (in spite of spending it out of my parents’ house, in my maternal aunt’s house instead), I got the call that I was hired at my current job on March 19, following a novena to St. Joseph. It happened again when my parents gave me a month to find a place to live; the deadline was May 1, so I had confidence that it would somehow work out (and it did, against the odds!). Meanwhile, the move-in date to this current place I’m living was on March 19 this year; as difficult as it’s been, this was a really special find, especially in this area.
I remembered all this recently, on All Soul’s Day, when I was praying the rosary. I used to pray it every day, but at some point stopped altogether. Then I read online that one could devote the month of October to St. Joseph in saying a prayer to him after a daily rosary. With all that happened, I didn’t stick to it as faithfully as the devotion said, but the times I did it made me remember how comforting it was.
The rosary I keep on me most of the time in my purse is a little decade rosary with a blessed medal instead of a crucifix, one side being St. Dymphna while the other was St. Joseph (the Worker). While I got the rosary from the closeness I felt to both saints, I’d often wonder why they were together on the same medal. I figured St. Dymphna, as patroness of those with mental/nervous afflictions, is to remind me to rest as well as work, which St. Joseph reminds me to do; together, they remind me to find a balance.
I also recently had the thought of how St. Dymphna used her father’s wealth to make a hospital, and how that reflects the situation I’m in with my likewise abusive parents sending money; my doctor would say that it was God providing for me through them, that St. Joseph was providing for me that way.
That thought came home to me that day; I realized that the reason I got extra money this month from my parents was because St. Joseph helped them sell their house, and that the money I got from my sister was because he helped her get the job she got her first paycheck from to share with me. It stands to reason, therefore, that St. Joseph once again answered my prayers, if in a more roundabout way than usual; I don’t think it was an accident that these things happened around All Saints Day.
…I don’t know how this all may sound to some of you reading. My hope that it maybe encourages you, especially if you’re fatherless in any way. As my confessor said a long time ago, it may not happen when and how you want it to, but it doesn’t erase the fact that it can happen. The people God calls to be there for you may fail, as so many people in my life had. He’ll send another to fill those shoes. I can’t say how; it’s often pretty mysterious. Maybe it may help to pray as I do, for Him to make it obvious.
I’m unsure where this sharp turn will lead me… I’m just trying to keep the lantern burning so I can keep seeing where I’m going now the path got dark again, holding tight to my lifelines…